Im new here and recently acquired the Online Fantasy Card Game template by Lost Head Studio (check it out here). I do web-design and therefore have some (limited) programming knowledge together with some design skills. My art collection compromises several fantasy artworks from a previous, cancelled project (Gods & Minions - check it out here). So my idea was to recycle the art and build some kind of "Hearthstone Clone" using the template providec by GenkiGenga.
I would like to hear your opinion, especially because it's a daunting task that forces me to cut-back some of the features compared to the full-blown online card games out there.
Before you think "this is just a Hearthstone copycat", I want to note that Hearhstone (HS) is merely a copy-cat of the good old Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Games like Magic: The Gathering (and others). So you have your deck, bring creatures into play in order to attack your opponent and so on (just google HS for detailed information).
As a side-note I should add, that the original inspiration did not come from HS at all. It came from "Orions: Masters of Wizards" (check it out HERE) an older game previously available for Pocket PC and now also for iPhone/iPad.
Whats different in my version? First of all, there are 5 elements like in Magic: the Gathering, also, the mana system is a bit different (colored mana). Finally, Im forced to cut-back a few aspects - especially the whole MMO like permanent data system - and Im trying to make the best out of it. Imagine servers, P2P connections, leaderboards, unlocking cards - quite a bit of stuff and quite complex to implement as well (especially in C2).
This means, there are no rares. Each player has all cards right from the start. That would boil down to a game where you choose and build decks from all existing cards, trying new tactics and strategies with everything the card base has to offer.
No pay to win, no endless grinding, no buildup-phase, no midgame, no end-game. So, to the min for the max:
You do not register online, there is no real player profile or anything - instead I would keep this game P2P as much as possible, without any strings attached. Hitting "Battle!" pairs you against another player (or a bot if none available) and there you go.
Monetization (bad word! bad!)
But, all the little things that go into a project like this must be paid somehow (like the art in my case) - but i do not want the players to buy random packs or unlock/buy cards. Instead all players have access to all of the cards right away. But, what I plan to do though is to extend the game via expansion packs - and those packs must be bought in order to field the cards contained. This would be done by distributing several versions of the same App.
The basic App is free and contains 60 cards, it is updated when new expansions are released - but you cannot add those cards to your deck (of course you can fight against them).
The Expansions are basically the same App with 36-60 new cards added. If you buy an expansion (about 5 USD) you get full access to ALL cards automatically. No boosters, no random draws, no buying singles. Expansions would be really cheap and the release cycle is linear - so you cannot choose which expansions to buy.
So its up to the player to stay F2P and have access to only the 60 core cards, or buy an expansion and get access to the next 36 cards. This is what I would call "socially acceptable". The only aspect left out is that you cannot play/work/grind in order to unlock expansions.
As a last word I have to add that Im not doing this for the money, but lots of effort has been put into the art, the template and will be put into the game itself - so it just makes sense to charge at least a bit for it.
Of course, having a true MMO like online data storage with all the required stuff from player profiles to unlockable cards/decks together with a leaderboard and personalized avatars/name would be nice. But that requires some sort of central server and tons of additional implementation that would be quite difficult to achieve just using C2 + PHP/MySQL (at least IMHO). Thats the reason why Im thinking about this P2P "lightweight" version of an online card game.
Whew - quite a wall of text, and thanks for reading (if you did). There will be some screenshots soon, but before jumping into the project head over heels, i thought it would be wise to gather some information here at first.